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Patterson’s appeal: Sept. 26

Observations Commentary The '15 murder  If you’ve followed the Melissa Palacios Patterson crime story since her initial arrest in August 2015, after which she was charged with capital murder, you already know most of the details. It remains the longest murder trial in the history of Hidalgo County (fiveplus weeks). In a nutshell, a failed businesswoman who is related to a local political dynasty (PSJA) was hired by a local hospice (McAllen-based) and handed the job of chief administrator, thanks to some friends on the hospice board of directors. This, despite the fact that a relatively simple background check would have easily uncovered Patterson’s many IRS liens, foreclosures, etc. In other words, a woman who clearly couldn’t handle money well, based on public court documents, was put in charge of, well, handling money. She then stole all of the hospice money, including wiping out its investment account. Right under the noses of her friends on the board of directors. That might have been bad enough, but when Patterson discovered that a wealthy man, 96-year-old WWII vet Marty Knell, had his wife staying at the hospice, the hospice administrator had him murdered shortly after the wife died. Before the murder, however, she had his will, all of his bank accounts changed over to her as the beneficiary and the payeeon-death. Meaning, Patterson got Knell’s house, bank accounts, savings accounts, and cash. According to testimony given during her October 2017 trial, Patterson stole the hospice blind while the board remained clueless. Month after month she would give the board an excuse as to why she couldn’t provide them with the “financials;” and they fell for it. Not all of them, but enough to matter. Those board members who couldn’t stand the way the hospice was being run, or not run as the case may be, who found themselves in the minority, resigned out of sheer frustration. So did the hospice’s seasoned staff, including the hospice bookkeeper. With a half-blind board and no one any longer on staff to watch her dirty deeds progress after the murder went down, Patterson seemed to have it made over an approximate seven-month time frame spending money willy-nilly, until she was arrested and charged with capital murder, courtesy of a joint investigation by the Texas Rangers and the Hidalgo County Major Crimes Unit. After investigators got a look at the hospice “financials,” she was arrested and charged for theft as well. Hello, Judge Dori The ...

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